Kia May Deal a Stronger Blow to Audi and BMW with Higher-Performance or Premium Stinger Models
That’s what happens when you have a car that’s generated a lot of positive reactionsby Kirby Garlitos, on
You know an automaker has a potential gold mine of a car on its hands when it’s already talking about adding variants to a model that just hit the market. That’s the position Kia is in with the Stinger GT, a car that has caught everyone’s attention in all the right ways. It’s no surprise, then, that Kia is already looking into producing different model variants of the Stinger provided that sales and interest in the four-door saloon remain strong.
As incredible as the reactions have been to the Stinger, the Kia exec admitted that it’s still too early to tell if the Stinger’s popularity will sustain once it’s completely out in the market
Details weren’t divulged, but Kia North America product planner, Orth Hendrick, wasn’t exactly being evasive with his comments either. In a conversation with AutoGuide, Hendrick confirmed that Kia is open to producing different versions of the Stinger. “We’re looking at it,” he said. “The reaction has been phenomenal to (the Stinger). We’re doing great; we have a very high mix of buyers, a lot coming from Optima, so we’re looking to see if we can grow that. And I think there might be other opportunities down the road.”
Granted, Hendrick also put the brakes on the speculation before it could blow into a full-scale wildfire. As incredible as the reactions have been to the Stinger, the Kia exec admitted that it’s still too early to tell if the Stinger’s popularity will sustain once it’s completely out in the market. At this point, some dealerships have yet to sell one unit of the GT model, so there’s no telling what the sales volume is going to look like a few years from now. “We’ll probably wait for a while to get some data in and see what the reaction will be, how people feel about the brand, and then we’ll probably build (the Stinger lineup) out from there,” Hendrick said.
That’s a big reason Kia is already bullish on expanding the Stinger lineup, even if it’s technically still a baby in its segment.
Don’t get his cautious tone twisted, though. The Stinger has received a lot of positive reactions since it made its debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. It’s been called a legitimate threat to its German rivals, and it has the overall personality and performance capabilities to back up those claims. That’s a big reason Kia is already bullish on expanding the Stinger lineup, even if it’s technically still a baby in its segment. If the car’s popularity translates into healthy sales figures, you can be sure that we’re going to get more variants in the coming years.
“We’re going to be very aggressive for the life-cycle of this vehicle, we’re going to be very aggressive with the colors,” Hendrick said. “It’s a fashion statement. You have to keep the car going with powertrain variants and other stuff coming down the road. I think this is something that we have to keep fresh. It’s a ‘want’ car, so it will be like ‘what’s new, what do you guys have that’s new?’”
A good example of this, according to Hendrik, is the Stinger GT that was dressed up in an eye-catching shade of yellow. The automaker intended to use the color as a promotional tool, but after receiving positive reactions across the board, Kia’s now looking at using it as a standard production color. This is one of the many things the Korean automaker has learned since introducing the Stinger last year. Don’t be shocked if we get a few more surprises down the road.
Maybe a hardcore variant that can compete against the BMW M3 and the Mercedes-AMG C 63?
Does that mean that we can expect a healthy dose of special edition models then? Maybe a hardcore variant that can compete against the BMW M3 and the Mercedes-AMG C 63? Whatever it is, you can bet that Kia’s going to milk the Stinger GT for all it’s worth, as it should.
Read our full review on the 2018 Kia Stinger.
Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Kia Stinger GT Plus.
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